posted on Jun, 9 2003 @ 12:42 AM
Don't forget ancient pirates...
In the bronze age, societies often lived through 'raiding' only... rather than boarding other ships in ship to ship combat, these pirates would
amass fleets of single-decked ships, land near an undefended village or city, loot it, then return home. Many scholars believe that the epic poem
"The Illiad" is a loose depiction of the atmosphere that existed in these raiding cultures.
It should also be noted that, three thousand years ago, survival through raiding was not considered evil. rather than beng seen as a scoundrel, a man
who could assemble a fleet of a hundred rowed ships and use them to sack a town was considered a man of bravery and prowess... Just look at the mores
and attitudes of the heros in the Illiad and Odyssey.
Rather than just being destructive, these ancient raiders eventually laid down the first western states and formed the first western governments.
Even medieval and early modern pirates contributed to society... their actions provoked the formation of the modern banking system, where paper is
given value, as opposed to a system where only metals had 'value'.
The history of the US has also been shaped by pirates... many of the first american settlements started out as pirate bases.
In the long-run, pirates often end up expanding the horizons of their civilization, through exploration, rogue military action, and unhindered
capitalism. No, I'm not saying that murder and robbery are great things, just that, at the frontier of any civilization that is still virile and
expanding, you will find 'pirate' characters pushing the limits... in the same light, I wonder if the modern day equivalent of pirates --
corporations -- will eventually be the force that will colonize the solar system.
[Edited on 9-6-2003 by onlyinmydreams]